Ultimate Level 1

Chapter 155: Who Hunts Who
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Chapter 155: Who Hunts Who

Max gave in, letting the wall he held back the desire that always wanted to be free come tumbling down.

Knowledge and something overwhelming filled his mind, but none of it mattered. He felt himself pushed back, and the presence inside took control.

[ Consume is cleansing Weakness Curse ]

[ Weakness Curse Cleansed ]

[ Berserker ]

[ Weakness ]

The world seemed to slow down as Max’s halberd whipped through the air, the axe blade slashing at the guardian of the portal.

Those yellow eyes went wide, and it tried to move back, bringing up both arms to block the attack, his blade sheering through each of them, cutting off over two feet of the demon’s blades.

It roared, and movement from around Max rushed toward him, but he did nothing except watch his weapon come around, the butt of the staff slamming into the demon’s side, cracking its armored skin, and ripping a chunk out.

His ice spell went off, and Max didn’t even realize it had been cast. Ice rippled from around him, revealing a dozen Stealthed demons, but its true purpose was the creature he faced.

It roared, an aura coming from its body, yet it washed over Max like a gentle rain, doing nothing as the blade of his weapon came around again, slicing halfway through the demon’s neck.

The demon cried out, trying to hold its head in place with a hand, unable to stop the speed and power of Max's attack. Less than three seconds later, its head was gone, and power flooded through him.

Max’s halberd swung around as the skill that desired this moment spun like a top, the blade carving through limbs and heads like a thresher during the wheat harvest. Every swing of his weapon harvested at least one head or cut multiple demons down.

Roars, cries, and abilities were going off, all trying to stop the man tearing through their gathered forces. Some demons froze in place, unsure what was happening as Max rushed toward the four twelve-foot demons, each with six arms and holding a sword in each hand. Two heads, each with six eyes and two mouths, said things he couldn’t understand, the pack of four coming at him with their blades.

As one the four moved, twenty-four swords came at him in various combo attacks, and Max knew there was a sneer on his face. He could feel contempt flowing through him. As if this wasn’t a challenge.

His body moved in ways he hadn’t yet realized it was capable of leaping, twisting in midair, his weapon parrying a strike, and using the force to push him closer to the first of the demons. In a single breath, his blade had swung out, taking off both heads in a single strike. His foot found purchase on an extended arm, leaping toward the next one.

Max felt a calm in the middle of what would normally have a person pissing their pants.

A wall of air appeared beneath his feet, allowing him to jump and twist, now over and behind the next demon, seeing their red eyes go wide as the blade took their soul in an instant.

Everywhere he turned, the demons fell, parts littering the dirt and black blood covering the chasm as if it was bubbling up from under the dirt.

Demons cast spells at him, and when they managed to land, their effects rarely worked. The damage caused was minor, gone in moments as his skill cleansed them from him. The weaker creatures, having hidden behind the stronger demons, expecting protection, fell so quickly that Max almost wondered if they were real. The demons weren't a threat like a twenty-one-year-old picking on a six-year-old.

Time passed without end, and Max watched as the beast inside him chased down the demons that realized they were now the prey. Something far greater than them had entered their domain, hungry and consuming anything in its path.

During one of the many fights, Max saw a brief flicker of blue light far off in the distance and realized they were moving farther from the portal.

We need to go back!

NO! We need to kill them all! We need the power they provide!

A battle of wills took place, and Max fought against it. Like a man who had been starving and an endless table of food placed before them, gorging themselves to no end, tearing away the famished beast inside wasn’t easy.

I need to help my friends! We cannot stay here!

A dagger pierced his side, and pain roared through him.

His will gave in, and his hand swung around, decapitating the demon that had thought it would attack when Max had suddenly stopped moving.

The demons still around backed up, moving to the edges of the walls. Some tried to climb, digging their claws or weapons into the stone, seeking escape.

We need more power for what is coming! You need more power!

None of it matters if my family dies!

A roar and scream so primal and angry came from his mouth. A wave of anger, frustration, and hunger flooded the area he was in. Every demon within its range ran, fear gripping a being most wouldn’t believe could know fear.

His side still burned, and suddenly, Max felt himself running forward toward the portal but slightly to the side. Demons along the wall became Max’s preferred way to heal.

Unable to flee, they tried to fight back, finding their weapons or body too weak to stop the attacks that cut them into pieces.

Max found himself suddenly near the portal.

He could see his body, covered in black blood and dripping from how covered he was.

Very well. You have given me my fill for now. The next part falls upon you.

Max stumbled for a moment. His body returned to his control, and he snapped his head up. He tried to ignore the mass number of notifications vying for his attention.

Nothing mattered more than the portal.

Rushing through, he prayed his friends were still alive.

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“Where were you?!” Fowl shouted.

“Are you ok?” Batrire asked, even though she could see Max’s health bar was full.

Tanila just rushed him, throwing her arms around him, ignoring the blood that had covered him from head to toe.

“I was worried,” she whispered.

Max hugged her back, holding her tight and trying not to crush her as he did.

After a moment, he let go, stepping back and looking at Fowl and Batrire.

“I’m ok. I had to let go… Bo… I needed my skill to help, and it did… I’m not certain how many things I killed, but…”

He saw the notifications and finally paid them attention.

[ 6 Strength Consumed ]

[ 6 Constitution Consumed ]

[ 6 Dexterity Consumed ]

[ 6 Dexterity Consumed ]

[ 6 Dexterity Consumed ]

[ 6 Dexterity Consumed ]

[ 6 Dexterity Consumed ]

[ 6 Strength Consumed ]

[ 6 Strength Consumed ]

[ 6 Constitution Consumed ]

[ 6 Dexterity Consumed ]

[ 6 Constitution Consumed ]

[ 6 Strength Consumed ]

[ 6 Constitution Consumed ]

[ 1 Strength Consumed ]

[ 6 Intelligence Consumed ]

[ 6 Wisdom Consumed ]

[ 6 Intelligence Consumed ]

[ 6 Wisdom Consumed ]

[ 6 Intelligence Consumed ]

[ 6 Wisdom Consumed ]

[ 6 Intelligence Consumed ]

[ 6 Wisdom Consumed ]

[ 6 Intelligence Consumed ]

[ 6 Wisdom Consumed ]

[ 6 Intelligence Consumed ]

[ 6 Wisdom Consumed ]

[ 3 Intelligence Consumed ]

[ 6 Wisdom Consumed ]

[ 5 Wisdom Consumed ]

[ Consume has successfully Consumed a skill ]

[ Unable to Obtain Skill - Power Saved ]

[ Consume has successfully Consumed a skill ]

[ Unable to Obtain Skill - Power Saved ]

[ Consume has successfully Consumed a skill

[ Unable to Obtain Skill - Power Saved ]

[Consume has successfully Consumed a skill]

[Would you like to learn [Demonic Magic]?]

[ Yes / No]

[ Demonic Magic - Rare Successfully learned ]

[Consume has successfully Consumed a skill]

[Would you like to learn [Demonic Summoning]?]

[ Yes / No]

[ Demonic Summoning - Rare Successfully learned ]

Max stood there, his brain trying to comprehend what had just happened.

“Seth!”

“Seth!”

Even though Tanila called his name multiple times, Max finally found the ability to focus on her only when she touched his cheek, ignoring the filth on him.

“Sorry… I… I just saw the results of the battle,” Max said, his voice matching the stunned look on his face.

“Dare I ask?”

“Give me a second, and I’ll find out the base numbers.”

[Base Stats Check]

*****

Max Hoste

18-Year-old Human Male

Level 1

Exp 1/1000

Demonic Essences: 273

STR: 115

DEX: 115

CON: 115

INT: 95

WIS: 95

*****

“Impossible,” Fowl muttered. “And that’s your base…”

“How do you feel? Not physically but inside?” Tanila asked, a slight frown and look of concern on her face.

“I’m okay,” Max answered, trying to smile and assure her he was fine. “My options were limited, and we both knew it. I couldn’t get past the guardian of the portal that was hiding. I might have tried with the skills on my own, but there was no way I thought it would have worked.”

Max looked at Batrire and saw her frowning at him.

“I was cursed and weakened, and there wasn’t time for me to drink a potion and hope everything would be okay. My skill… It removed the negative effects, like it had the red aura. After that, I realized just how much I lack when understanding how to fight.”

“I’m sorry, what?” Fowl asked. “You’re one of the best fighters I’ve seen. What do you mean you lack in fighting?”

Max chuckled and put his hand in front of him. He then ran his fingers across the top. “I actually ran along a sword that was coming at me. I jumped on an air wall I created for the specific purpose of getting behind an enemy. My skill used the momentum of the demon's attacks to propel me where I needed to be.”

Shaking his head and trying to understand, Fowl muttered to himself. “I can’t imagine… and skills?”

Max nodded. “Let’s not worry about those right now. Am I seeing this dungeon correctly?”

Grunting, Fowl nodded and turned to the dungeon Max was now focused on.

“Where’s the boss? It’s empty…”

“We haven’t looked very hard,” Tanila said, gently pushing Max. “Every one of us was more focused when you might return.”

Bobbing his head, Max looked at the space just a few yards from the portal behind him.

Two massive metal doors, thicker than five feet and fifty feet tall, appeared ready to close behind them once they walked onto the grey stone tile that ran the length of the two-hundred-yard colosseum.

“It looks… almost like the one back in Peltagow,” Max muttered. “The walls are taller, but the rest, including the box where the queens sat, are almost identical. Why?”

“He’s right,” Batrire said. “I hadn’t noticed until Seth pointed that out.”

“We need not worry about that part, but what happens once we go past those doors?” Tanila pointed out. “I’m certain we won't be able to open them, and we’ll be trapped inside if they actually close behind us.”

No noise came from inside, and as the four of them tried to consider the next path after dealing with Max showing up and how he looked and what he had done, a loud bell tolled, and a timer appeared in the center of the air.

“One minute?” Fowl asked. “Till?”

“The doors close or the demon comes. Either way, we need to decide fast if you three are still ok with going forward,” Max said as he pointed at the huge doors.

“They're moving!” Batrire gasped.

“Judging by how slow they are, we have fifty seconds at best to pass them. I’m okay going on. What about you, Fowl?” Tanila asked.

“Don’t put this on me,” he grunted, motioning to the doors. “I’ll follow Seth wherever. We just need to hurry up and decide.”

“Ogre nuts, Fowl!” Batrire cursed. “Grow a pair and decide before the door shuts!”

Max heard Fowl start to curse, but the dwarf stopped himself and moved toward the closing doors.

“Let’s go!”

Max brought up the rear, waiting for Tanila and Batrire to catch up to their dwarven friend who stood on the tiles of the colosseum floor.

The timer reached the last ten seconds, and the doors were almost shut, leaving no room to return to the portal, the blue escape point hidden from their sight.

As the timer hit zero, the doors shut completely with an earth-shaking impact. They felt them close and heard something click inside.

Then laughter echoed in the arena all around them.

“Shite, this can’t be good,” Fowl muttered as portals began to open all over the seats of the Colosseum.

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